If the equipment is eventually installed, even on a trial basis, it seems likely that speed cameras will eventually be a common sight in New York. In all communities where traffic enforcement cameras have been put in place these communities report an increase in traffic citations and an increase in revenue derived from the use of this technology.
For communities looking to find new ways of adding revenue to their bottom line, traffic cameras are a good solution. These fully automated electronic devices do not require an officer to be paid by the hour to monitor traffic or intersections. Once installed these devices work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, recording drivers who might exceed the posted speed limit or run a red light. Once the vehicle has been identified (photos are taken automatically when the computers detects a violator) the information is routed directly to the authorities and citations are issued automatically.
In many communities opponents to these relatively new electronic monitoring systems do so on the basis of privacy. They say the devices are a type of invasion of a drivers right to privacy. They also say the devices can make an error, citing the registered owner of the vehicle instead of the person who might have been driving the vehicle at the time.
This has not swayed the legal system, however. The devices have been found by courts to not be an invasion of privacy because they record activity which happens on public streets and judges have repeatedly ruled in favor of communities serving citations on the registered owners of the vehicles cited because they are ultimately responsible.
It seems likely the testing of new speed cameras in New York City will get final approval from city leaders and after that, eventually they will likely become part of the landscape.